Review: ‘Flowers of Evil’ Episode 1 [Anime]

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by Marlan Moore | staff editor

Flowers of Evil is one of the new anime series part of the Spring 2013 line-up. Based on the manga of the same name, it follows high school student Takao Kasuga and his crush on fellow student Nanako Saeki.

The first episode doesn’t get very far into the plot, but does a good job of setting the pace of the series and establishes Kasuga’s character. It also introduces the soon-to-be-important character Sawa Nakamura, whom the show’s synopsis promises will be causing Kasuga later.

I decided to check out Flowers of Evil based on the title and poster artwork, not knowing what I’d be getting myself into. Based on that alone, it looks like a horror series.

flowers of evil

Based on the first episode and the series synopsis however, it sounds like it may be more of a mature take on high school and hormones, with a bit of suspense and mind-bending moments.

The title of the series is actually a reference to the main character, Kasuga, and his love for a book of poetry titled The Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire. Having not read it myself, I’ve relied on Wikipedia to tell me the book’s thematically about decadence and eroticism, two things heavily hinted at in the first episode. Nothing erotic or decadent has happened yet, but the way Kasuga stares at Saeki, the conversations his friends have about girls (which are actually just typical conversations teenage boys have about girls), and the way Nakamura talks to her teacher all show a bit of decadence and eroticism in the making.

I get the feeling that giant creepy flower that’s slowly grows throughout the episode will wind up being more of a metaphor than anything else. As Kasuga’s perversions grow, so does the flower.

Then, there’s the rotoscoped animation. It definitely stands out, compared to most other anime. There’s a simplicity to it, and a realism. You won’t find big eyes, chibi characters, or other anime mainstays here. The characters’ movements are very realistic and emotive. The camera lingers a little longer on a lot of moments, from character reactions to shots that establish the world we’re entering. The fact that it lingers around a bit helped make the world that much more real to me, and helped bring me in despite the lack of action.

Not a lot happens in the first episode, but the animation and characters are arresting enough that you can’t help but watch and see where this is all going. I’ll definitely be sticking around to see what lies ahead for Flowers of Evil.

Flowers of Evil can be found on Crunchyroll.

[NOTE: The opinions expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the SPJA.]

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